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Working to be in the frame

Qualification for the national sevens is the goal for the Poverty Bay women’s team and they’re working hard to put themselves in the frame.

Head coach Luke Bradley is preparing a squad for the Central Region sevens tournament at the end of the month. That tournament in Levin is a qualifier for the national sevens next month.

Hawke’s Bay representative Anna Powdrell, former Hawke’s Bay player Kirsty Thomas and Opotiki player Leah Wilson have been named in the squad.

The squad’s preparation includes games with the Lytton High School Condor sevens team and Waikohu.

They’re due to be part of the Nati 7s event at Ruatoria this weekend.

Players in the squad had a hit-out last weekend at the Turanga Sevens in Gisborne, where Horouta played against Waikohu.

Bradley said women’s rugby was on the rise and it was good to have two women’s teams battling it out in the Turanga Sevens and two high school teams watching.

He has put on clinics in Tairawhiti to help the women’s game and coaching was another way to get directly involved.

Bradley said he went looking for playmakers to boost that area, and brought in Powdrell and Wairoa-born Wilson.

More players might yet be added.

Bradley will be assisted by David Mays, from whom he had sought advice over the years.

Poverty Bay wider squad: Gemma Robin, Kirsty Thomas, Jonette Karaka, Panache Hale, Micah Reedy-Pourau, Hunter-Paris Varley, Eve Campbell, Anna Powdrell, Leah Wilson, Jess Rutene-Ruru, Rhythm Monika, Kalani Broughton-Pakaru, Princess Tomoana, Jaime Karaitiana, Mary Mauheni.